Friday, April 30, 2010

By the Light of the Moon

I happened to look out the window the other night and caught the full moon peeking through the branches of a tree.  Wondering if I could capture the uniqueness of what I was looking at I gave it a shot.  Sort of reminds me of what it would have looked like in Sleepy Hollow during the ride of the headless horseman.

"By the Light of the Moon"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zucchini Flowers

Spring is here and it's time to start the vegetable gardens.  These zucchini flowers could be eatten as fried blossoms or if there's no hurry, you can wait until they mature into squash.

"Zucchini Blossoms"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wash Day - Italian Style

The Italians know how to make laundry look artistic. 

"Wash Day - Italian Style"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Red and Green

Japanese maple trees offer brilliant coloring but I don't think I've seen these two colors juxtaposed like this before.  They certainly make a striking contrast.

"Red and Green"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let's Bee Together

My main goal during wildflower season it to find flowers to photograph but once in a while I find other critters enjoying the flora as much as I do.  These two bees were busy collecting pollen in an Apricot Mallow.

"Let's Bee Together"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainbow Building

Someone had fun with paint and a paintbrush. And a bit of artist license. I spotted this on the high speed train from Bordeaux to Paris. One thing I learned, it's best to sit backwards when trying to take pictures from a fast moving train.

"Rainbow Building"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Old Olive Press

When we were in Sorrento we visited a small family farm.  They had the usual animals, horses, goats, pigs and ducks (or were they geese?)  But their main crop was olives.  And they produced their own olive oil.  This was an old press from years gone by.  They are now modern with huge electric crushers and presses.  And to help pay for the expensive machinery, they also press oil for their neighbors.

"Old Olive Press"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Market Flowers

Farmer's Markets have come into vogue.  Every town seems to have one now.  That's a good thing for the farmer and the consumer.  The ones in our area are required to grow their wares withing a 50 mile radius.  Supporting local farmers and getting fresh produce is a win win for everyone.

"Market Flowers"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Time in the Vineyard

I grew up in Central California in the middle of a vineyard.  Dad had Thompson Seedless grapes and when I opened my drapes in the morning  I saw row after row of grapevines.  My favorite season was Spring, when the new shoots, bright green and delicate, were just emerging.  And all those tendrils.  Twisting and turning looking for something to attach to. 

 "Spring Time in the Vineyard"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pitchers for Sale

The Italians love to display their wares outside to attract potential buyers.  And this ceramic shop was no exception.  It certainly adds charm to the small towns we visited while in Tuscany. 

'Pitchers for Sale"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hedgehog Cactus

Also known as Calico Cactus because the spines can be multicolored, this columnar cactus grows to only about 1 foot high.  The flower is beautiful but those spines look nasty.

"Hedgehog Cactus"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Hills are Yellow

Yes, there are still lots of wildflowers in bloom.  You just have to know where to look.  This hillside in Joshua Tree National Park is covered with lots of Brittle Bush.  They make a nice backdrop for the orange Apricot Mallow in the foreground. 

"The Hills are Yellow"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Teenie Weenie Flowers

Yes, those are grains of sand near the yellow flowers.  Searching for wildflowers in the desert is a real challenge.  Finding the best ones require parking the car, having hiking boots, water, a hat and sunscreen.   And usually a walk on the wild side.  Hiking in the desert this time of year means you have to keep your eyes and ears open for rattlesnakes as they are coming out of hibernation and love to sun themselves on the warm ground.  But when I find little treasures like this it's all worth it.  btw.... there's no common name for this cutie.  But it is an "Eriophyllum wallacie" and is a member of the sunflower family.

"Teenie Weenie Flowers"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Light of the Morning

The first light awakens many things.  Birds, animals and of course flowers.  This poppies was just beginning to open it's petals when the sun hit it.  Those wrinkles won't be as pronounced once the petals are fully opened but they do add character.

"First Light of the Morning"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paris in the Spring

When the chestnuts are in bloom it must be Spring in Paris.

"Paris in the Spring"      © Kathy Dunham 2010 

Thursday, April 15, 2010


This one's for you Mimi!!!  My friend Mimi and I used to volunteer at the garden center in our local botanical garden, The Living Desert.  It was fun, we learned about the desert plants and met lots of people.  One day a gentleman came in looking for a Chia plant.  We looked at each, had no idea what he was talking about,  thought maybe he meant those Chia heads you see advertised on TV are recommended he go to the local Walgreen's where he might find one.  Well, we were sure embarrassed when we discovered there really was a Chia plant!!!  So Mimi, this is what it looks like.

"Chia"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blooming Cactus

I love it when I come upon a cactus that's loaded with blossoms.  Only problem was, this one only had a couple of open flowers.  But each pad was loaded with almost 10 buds.  And in a couple of days it will be one big yellow plant.

"Blooming Cactus"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Orange Beauties

Most cactus flowers are either yellow of pink.  But these green centered orange beauties are just a sampling of the variety of colors and shapes you can find in cactus flowers.

"Orange Beauties"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dune Primrose

There are still wildflowers blooming in the desert an these Dune Primroses are usually found with sand verbena.  But I found them on a garden tour today in the back yard of a garden dedicated to native and drought tollerant plants.  It's great seeing a beautifully landscaped yard without lawn and petunias. 

"Dune Primrose"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Azelea Time

When the azeleas are in bloom you know it's the Masters Golf tournament.  Known for controlling just when the flowers open, the grounds crew at Augusta work miracles to make the course look good on TV.  Icing the ground if the weather gets too warm before they're ready is just one of their tricks.

"Azelea Time"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Join Me?

I came across this idylic setting in a the small French town of Beaumont last year.  It's just waiting for a twosome to sit down, maybe have coffee and a croissant while chatting about local events.

"Join Me?"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In the Middle of Things

This old fashioned rose had unusual, two-toned stamens that caugth my eye.  With a single row of petals, the interesting part of this variety is the center.  As they say, "Take time to smell the roses".  And while your nose is down there, take a look at what's going on in the middle.

"In the Middle of Things"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day Lilies

A beautiful and popular garden flower, day lilies are found from coast to coast and in hundreds of varieties.  But as their name suggests, they only last a day.  Which is a shame as they aren't any good as a cut flower.

"Day Lilies"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Prickly Poppy

First cousin to the Matilija Poppy one of my favorite flowers to paint, this spiny leafed plant grows at higher elevations (up to 6,000').  All parts of this plant are poisonous so don't eat it. 

"Prickly Poppy"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellow Beetle

We spotted this beetle while looking for wildflowers the other day.  I don't know what kind he is but he sure was pretty.  We also spotted a green version but he moved to fast for me to get his picture. 

"Yellow Beetle"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter in the Desert

One of the joys of living in the desert is spending the day looking for wildflowers in the spring and when you find them it's like finding those eggs at Easter.  You never quite know where they'll be and it's always a pleasant surprise when you do find them.  Spotting these beavertail cactus blossoms under an ocotillo was like finding a bunch of dyed eggs at one time.

"Easter in the Desert"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

Nothing says Easter like daffodils.  And these white ones, in a tight cluster have the spirit of the season written all over them.  Watch out for those cute little bunnies and don't eat too much chocolate!

"Happy Easter"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

I Love Spring!!

Desert Dandelions and Sand Verbena make wonderful companions.  And when the desert is in full bloom these two stars can be found sprinkled in the landscape.

"I Love Spring!!"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Colors

Easter is almost here and these Iceland Poppies are rich in the colors we see this time of year. 

"Easter Colors"      © Kathy Dunham 2010